Beginner’s Guide to Safely Configure / Disable Windows 8 / 8.1 Services

UPDATE: This tutorial will also work in Windows 8.1.

If you are a long time reader of this website, you might be aware of our exclusive service configuration guides which we have posted for previous Windows versions such as Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. These guides help you in tweaking Windows built-in services startup type to stop them from running automatically in background so that you can improve your system performance and can make your Windows faster.

Following are our previous service configuration guides:

We always try to provide these guides as simple as possible so that all Windows users can understand and follow them. Following the tradition, today in this tutorial we are going to provide a similar guide for Microsoft's latest OS Windows 8.

This article will provide you a simple and easy to follow service configuration guide which will help you in making Windows 8 faster than before because less services will run in background.

So without wasting time lets share our Windows 8 services configuration guide:

Since Windows 8 is based on the previous Windows 7 OS, almost all built-in services in Windows 8 are similar to Windows 7 services. There are a few new services introduced in Windows 8 and also a few old services have been removed from Windows 8.

One thing which we noticed while using Windows 8 is that its already very fast and we didn't find any need to disable any background service to make it faster. It runs very smooth and definitely its faster than any other Windows version.

But if you really want to tweak it and want to disable unnecessary background services, you can follow the simple steps given below and can set unwanted services startup type to manual:

NOTE: Always set a service to manual, never disable it. If you set a service to manual, Windows will be able to start and use it whenever it needs the service. But if you set a service to disabled, Windows will not be able to start the service and will show you error messages.

1. To customize Windows 8 services configuration and to change services startup type, you'll need to open Services Manager. You can open it by using any of following ways:

a. Move your mouse cursor to bottom-left corner of screen and right-click on the corner, you'll see a menu containing various system shortcuts. Its called "Win+X Menu" because you can also access it by pressing WIN+X keys together. Now click on "Computer Management" option and it'll open a new window.


b. Open My Computer and you can click on "Manage" button present in the ribbon.


c. If you have enabled My Computer icon on Desktop using Desktop Personalization window, you can right-click on the icon and select "Manage" option.

Once Computer Management window is opened, click on "Services and Applications -> Services" in left-side pane. It'll show the services configuration screen.


2. Alternatively, you can directly open the same screen using services.msc command in RUN dialog box.

3. Once you access services manager, you are ready to configure Windows 8 services startup type. You can sort the services by their startup type by clicking on "Startup Type" column. It'll help you in find all running services easily and quickly.

4. Now you can double-click on a service and read its description to know whether its an important service or not. If you think the service is not important, you can set its startup type to MANUAL.

If you are unsure which services should be set to manual, following is a small list of services which can be safely set to manual/disabled without causing any problem to your Windows:

  • Computer Browser (If your computer is not connected to any network)
  • Diagnostic Policy Service
  • Distributed Link Tracking Client (If your computer is not connected to any network)
  • IP Helper (If you don't use IPv6 connection)
  • Offline Files
  • Program Compatibility Assistant Service
  • Portable Device Enumerator Service
  • Print Spooler (If you don't have a printer)
  • Remote Registry (You can set it to DISABLED for Security purposes)
  • Secondary Logon
  • Security Center
  • Server (If your computer is not connected to any network)
  • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper (If you are not in a workgroup network)
  • Windows Error Reporting Service
  • Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) (If you don't have a scanner)
  • Windows Search (If you don't use Windows built-in Search feature frequently) (Check this)

5. Once you change services startup type, close services manager and restart your system to take effect.

Now you should notice a little bit improvement in your system performance. If you face any problem, you can restore the services startup type to automatic using services manager again.

Further read:

Master Tutorial to Make Windows 8 / 8.1 Super Fast

Also Check:

Beginner's Guide to Safely Configure / Disable Windows 10 Services


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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Thank you so much VG. You are genius. I was waiting for this guide. Merry Christmas. :)

  • It'll definitely come handy. Thanks for your hard work Vishal.

  • Thanks VG~, can we make these settings using commandline/?

  • Seems like one of the service keeps auto forwarding my task bar. When I browsing or typing e-mail, my task bar is forwarded and I have to re click the browser to continue what I was doing. Do you have any idea which service might cause this problem? I had similar problem in windows 7, which I solved it by disabling all service if I remember it correctly. Apparently if I disable all service on windows 8, lots of stuff stop working. Please help. Thank you!

  • Thanks to you my computers performance is the BEST it's ever been!!! YOUR THE MAN!!!

  • i like askvg...u r gr8...plz vishalda leave a huge tag for customizing windows 8 with softwares...

  • what can I do if my windows defender fail to start because service(s) that need stopped accidentally. thanks

  • VG

    ^^ Have you installed any 3rd party security software in Windows? If yes, it'll automatically disable Windows Defender.

  • No I haven't, I just stop temporarily when I install flash player. The notification said some services stop automatically if they are not in use by other services or programs. I also have check it out in action center.

  • A lot of services listed here doesn"t exist in windows 8 like Application Experience
    Computer Browser, ... this guide is not up to date.

  • VG

    ^^ All services exist. Please check again.

  • Thanks you very much.
    This is so helpful i have seen ever..

  • Good suggestion. Just bumped into you website & am really happy.

  • This told me about some of the services I don't need. Been looking for this to find out if certain services that can be turned off in windows 7 could be turned off in windows 8. Specifically Windows Search, which keeps eating my CPU cycles. Thanks for this :)

    By the way, for the person who said some of these services don't exist in windows 8/8.1, please be aware that ALL of the services listed do exist in the operating system. If you can't find them at all, it means that most likely your system is infected with malware of a serious type, and that you should wipe your computer, and reinstall your operating system fresh. Sorry for your luck.

  • how to change service startup type into manual?

  • VG

    ^^ Double-click on the service and there you can change startup type.

  • Turning off the "Security Center" is a bad idea. If you kill that, then you won't get alerts for Windows Update / firewall / spyware / malware..

  • @Blitz
    Not if you really know what you're doing on your computer.

    Security Center is just a feature for those stupid people who can't tell what's wrong on their computer.

  • OMG Thank you! I have been searching for days for something that actually worked! There are so many "tips" out there but YOURS was the only one that actually showed any improvement on my brand new computer with Windows 8.1. My suffering is over. Thanks again!

  • Just found you today, and what a help! Thanks. I've linked to your RSS feed.

  • great work but iam not sure with network : Computer Browser , TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper , IP Helper ,

    do i have to disable it because i dont have good the neighbors so i need to be invisible and not to be discovered or available for sharing, ping and so on. pls help me . i think more ppl need network secure to feel safe.

  • No answer to my question yet.
    My question is how can you change the name of the local service displayed in the service?

  • VG

    ^^ I dont think you can easily change the services names. Those names are taken from various system files and if we somehow change the service name, it might affect Windows functionality and can create problems.

  • i can't find "Offline Files" in the list. im running windows 8.1

  • I disabled application experience and all of a sudden the computer tried to restart. Now i cant open computer management and many other applications such a task manager, a few games, system restore etc. Please help me as I cant seem to find any solution

  • VG

    ^^ Try to restart Windows in Safe Mode and then re-enable the service.

  • I changed all the suggested services to manual. However, I still have no access to the internet or to audio files (both are crossed out in the task bar). Any suggestions? (BTW, many of my services show as 'Disabled').

    Thanks for your sharing all those tips!

  • VG

    ^^ It seems you'll need to install required drivers in your computer. Please check in Device Manager which devices require drivers and then install the appropriate drivers.

  • Hey Mr. VG, when I double clicked the services you suggested to be set to manual, I saw the option "Startup Type", but it can't be clicked. How do I fix this?

  • Nvm, its because i am not in the administrator. Thanks!

  • My laptop is getting shut down automatically for 30 mins exactly, Is there any timer option enabled, how to resolve pls help.

  • VG

    ^^ Check Power Options. It seems your system is set to automatically power off after 30 minutes. Disable any timeout value if found.

  • That is awesome information. It's so hard to get anything from the internet that gets right to the point, ***** starts for you.

  • great, now i can't see any wired or wireless network now. -.- need help here pls!!

  • VG

    ^^ There is no need to worry if you are facing some problem after disabling or setting a service to manual. You can again set the service type to Automatic. Set following services to automatic again:

    Computer Browser
    IP Helper
    TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
    Windows Time

  • Thank u...
    But I want to know about how to restrict the background data usage over wifi network

    When I use the internet, the data usage is gradually rise of my limited plan without browsing on pc window8.1. .. pls tell me that can totally restrict background data usage .... thanks
    I hope u enjoy

  • Thank You!
    it takes less than 10 sec to load everything now :)

  • Thanks Vishal, been following your advice for a long time now. Always appreciated.

  • Good information for window 8 users,thank you.

  • hi, i am not able to log in as administrator, i canot even run any important programs because of some error messages i get that say example: C:/windows/system32/compngnt.msc help me plz

  • VG

    ^^ Please provide more details. When do you receive that error message? Do you have other user accounts?

  • I have been trying to get to he app store for the past 5-6 days. I keep getting this message.
    We weren't able to connect to the store. This might have happened because of a server problem or the network connection timed out. Please wait a few minutes and try again. (0x80080005).
    Can you tell me what the problem is? I have had 8 and 8.1 for over a year without any problems. Please contact me by email if you can help. If you can't help can you point me in the right direction to solve this problem.
    I have windows 8.1 and have not had any problems in the past. Please help!

    Thanks, Robert

  • VG

    ^^ It seems to me some Internet connectivity problem. Make sure your Internet connection is working fine. Also make sure you are not using any proxy. You can also try custom DNS server settings:

  • Thanks so much! April 1, 2015 and I still needed to know where to go. Yeah! have you bookmarked!

  • Hi,
    I have a problem with Windows 8.1, The cursor pointer disapears. I can not work more

  • Thanks for the list, stumbled upon your site searching "IP Finder" on google. Never liked useless services running in the background even though the computer has no actual change in speed, thanks to the awesome components. But it's an easy on the mind of the user imo.

    Btw it would be nice if you had time stamps for the comments. just my opinion.

    (June 1, 2015)

  • Unfotunately, some one changes my windows services from autmaticaly and start up ( all the services) to disable. And now my computer doesn't work, even can not connecet to internet, what should i do ? Please help me !!!

  • Hei.When i right-click on ip helper, and select proprieties, when i want to disable ,i cant....simply..i just cant click . How i can do this ( Or how i can open in "Administrator" ?

  • Thank you so very much if you have any more you've added to that list that can be turned to manual please feel free to email me -- I've forwarded this post to all my friends. FYI -- I opted out of the new Windows 10 -- it was even slower.

  • I have a MASSIVE amount of services running from the previous owner of this computer, and I was just wondering if Windows 8 has the option that older versions of Windows did where you could just click the checkbox under the Services tab to hide all Microsoft services, and then click disable all. This method seems a little more risky, and A LOT more time consuming.

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. Type MSCONFIG in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to Services tab.

  • Well, I stopped some process and now google chrome doesn't work. I click to open it and it's just a blank page. What could I have stopped? Whatever it is, I need to turn it back on.


  • VG

    ^^ Changing services settings will not affect Google Chrome. Anyway you can try to restore following services:

    IP Helper
    TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper

    Also try to repair Chrome by running its installer again. You can also try to clear cache and cookies.

  • There are also some services which are someway useless and can be disabled:

    Fax (If you don't use fax, why don't you disable it?)
    Windows CardSpace (90% of the users don't even use it)
    Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service (For most users it's useless)
    Telephony (If you don't use telephony services or Skype, then disable it)
    Themes (If you use the classic windows layout, then disable it)
    Tablet PC Input Service (If you don't have or use a tablet, you should disable it)
    Bluetooth Support Service (If you don't use bluetooth, then disable it)
    Windows Event Log (You can set it up to manual)

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